Web Design 101: HTML and CSS

It is very likely that you have heard of HTML even if you are not a website developer. HTML means Hyper Text Markup Language which is the core of every web page. HTML is the starting point for anyone who wants to learn about web development because it will always be used regardless of the complexities of the site and the number of different technologies that are involved.

HTML is easy to learn because it is not actually a programming language but a markup language that uses a programming language to perform functions like using tags to identify content. If you were to look at the contents of a web page, you will usually find the header on the top with sub-headers beneath it. There is also the body text and images at the bottom that are identified by bits of text.

Every web page is made of HTML tags that denote each type of content found on the page. For example, the words you are reading right now are parts of a paragraph. If you were to code the web page from scratch you can start it with an opening paragraph tag : <p>. The open brackets denote the tag part while the letter p tells the computer that a paragraph is being opened instead of another type of content.

One the tag has been opened, all the content will be assumed to be part of the tag until the tag is closed. At the end of the paragraph is the closing tag: </p>. Look closely because even if they look similar, there is the difference in the forward slash after the left angle bracket.

If HTML is the structure of the website, CSS is used to give it style. CSS is responsible for all those slick colors, interesting fonts and background images. CSS sets the tone of the web page and its entire mood to that it can be used as a powerful tool and essential skill that web developers have to master. CSS also allows websites to adapt to different screen sizes of mobile phones and tablet computers.